After the Western Group had to make the decision to abandon our annual Driving Day, a blow to us all as it would have been the first to be staged since 2019, I’m pleased to say that we have been able to re-schedule the event this year. The 1 June date fell victim to combination of the double bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee and a week designated as the half-term holiday in many schools.
Luckily we will not face the same problem for our new date, Wednesday 14 September. We were unable to book Castle Combe circuit again this year because it is fully booked. That is great news for Castle Combe, but meant we had to find an alternative venue for the first time. Our new venue is very much in Western Group territory. The Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford in Somerset will be our venue for the event. It is conveniently close to the A303 which should make it easy for visitors from all directions to reach us. The museum has been extensively re-developed in recent years and offers excellent facilities for an event like ours.
Although the museum lacks a circuit, there is easy access to good driving routes and electric vehicle charging facilities are available on site. That has encouraged us to introduce an electrified theme for the day, although vehicles with internal combustion engines will also be most welcome. As has been the case when the event was staged before the pandemic, heritage models would also be a welcome addition to the day, which seems particularly suitable with the museum’s extensive collection close at hand.
We will have access to a patio area at the front of the museum and hopefully the mid-September weather will be kind to us. Invitations have now been circulated and with the August holiday period looming, we will close bookings on Friday 29 July, so if you have had an invitation, don’t delay!
John Kendall | Chair, the Western Group of Motoring Writers